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garlic scapes hummus

garlic scapes hummusGarlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant and are cut to force the garlic bulbs to grow bigger. Some gardeners throw these away! The flavour is less pungent than a garlic clove and has a subtle scallion flavour. How to use? Think of how you would cook a green vegetable (stir-fry, sauté, steam, grill) and go from there.  Hummus is a favourite go-to dip when I want something in a pinch. Continue Reading →

rhubarb cake – so easy your kids can make it

rhubarb cake

My mother in law, Aida, is visiting from England and has been with us for the past 12 days. It’s been a whirlwind visit with us trying to fit in every day with something to see, do or eat. At 92 you’d think we would be home more than usual but not with Aida. She’s game to go anywhere…well, most places that is.  I enjoy cooking for her and getting her to try some of my new recipes but this visit feels as though we’ve been eating out more than we have been in.  Last Monday we took Aida to Peggy’s Cove.  It’s one of the ‘if you haven’t been there, you haven’t visited Nova Scotia’ list of attractions.  Continue Reading →

plum dessert – fresh and light

plum dessertA dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, I’ll always make room.  It signals to my brain something fresh and light.  Continue Reading →

marbled eggs – just in time for Easter

marbled eggs made with beet juiceLooking for a fun way to serve hard boiled eggs?  Start with the eggshell.  Years ago when the kids were younger, I would make colored eggs for them as part of the Easter egg hunt.  I would also make marbled deviled eggs to serve to the adults.  Marbled eggs are a cinch to make and you most probably have the ingredients on hand.  I prefer to naturally dye the eggs especially since the eggs will be eaten.  Continue Reading →

barley pilaf

barley pilafWeeknight meal planning can be a royal pain but if you’re a busy person, it all makes good economic sense.  My daughter does her meal prep religiously and usually sends me a snapchat of what she’s made. She spends a couple of hours in an evening and that saves her time for the rest of the week.  It’s also a perfect way to stay on a food budget and not be tempted to eat out when you have a meal already to go in the fridge. Continue Reading →

prosciutto rolls – an easy snack to make

prosciutto rollsEasy to make; my three favorite words.  In my culinary world, nothing pleases me more than to whip up an elegant-looking appetizer using only 3 ingredients.  Our friends, Ralph and Michelle, stayed with us last weekend and Thursday was the only night we were eating at home.  My head was spinning with food ideas I wanted to share with them and one evening meant I had to be realistic and pare down my menu list.  These prosciutto rolls didn’t make the list.  I enjoy cooking for people who share the same enthusiasm for food as we do.  My senses begin to tingle and my heart pumps a bit faster as each dish is prepared.  You cannot imagine the joy this brings to me…I love cooking for other people.  So when another foodie steps into the kitchen, I am full steam ahead, jitters and all. Continue Reading →

what to do with leftover sour cream

sour cream dressing recipeWhen a recipe calls for a small amount of sour cream I feel my shoulders slump.  For me the thought of having to buy a container of sour cream for 2 tablespoons or even a cup seems like a such a waste; there’s always some leftover.  I could substitute it for yogurt but I would be in the same dilemma.  And then it occurred to me.  Why not make a dressing or dip?  It would also make good use of the coriander (cilantro)  I had in the fridge.  Continue Reading →

squash and parsnip soup

squash and parsnip soupSoup has been around for centuries and previous generations did not use a recipe. They simply dumped various ingredients into a pot to boil.  And each culture adopted its own variation with whatever was on hand.  For my readers who feel more comfortable using a list of ingredients, throw caution to the wind and be like our ancestors.  If you have vegetables looking as though they’re in need of rescuing, a soup is a perfect place for them and you’ll feel better knowing you used them instead of throwing them in the bin.  Continue Reading →

pork belly bites – one helluva snack!

.pork belly bitesWell, hello 2016!  Whatever the days or weeks ahead have in store for me, I’m ready!  Mr. S and I spent Christmas in Calgary.  Over the holiday period I cooked in other peoples homes; one being my daughter’s (a first for me!), one at my cousin’s (in Edmonton) and the other at my daughter’s employers home.  I loved it and what I enjoyed most was how appreciative each was that I was in their kitchen cooking for them.  Continue Reading →

linguine with clams (linguine alle vongole)

linguine with clamsThis is a busy time of the year with most of us running around doing last minute errands in preparation for the holidays.  When I’m short for time, pasta is my savior and the time it takes to cook it I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!  Toss in some clams and you’re experiencing a Venetian staple that started off as peasant food.  Clams have roughly the same protein and fat content as chicken but contain more vitamins and minerals.  Serve this delicious and light dinner with a side of salad, sit back, and relax. Continue Reading →